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Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #5: Heard About the Murder? (Scene from Blackmail)

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This opening is different from the from his British films because there is no fast pace or frenzy in the this scene, except maybe the rushing water. Nature seems to be important along with the house.

I couldn't help thinking about the movie, Jane Eyre. There were some similarities, very gothic, eerie and foreboding presence. There is also the narration that we haven't seen before. The Hitchcock "touch" would be the introduction of characters early on, including the house. The camera work is more developed and the framing of scenes are incredible. Totally love this movie. I am enjoying seeing Hitchcock's films with new educated eyes. Thank you 

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This opening is different from the from his British films because there is no fast pace or frenzy in the this scene, except maybe the rushing water. Nature seems to be important along with the house.

I couldn't help thinking about the movie, Jane Eyre. There were some similarities, very gothic, eerie and foreboding presence. There is also the narration that we haven't seen before. The Hitchcock "touch" would be the introduction of characters early on, including the house. The camera work is more developed and the framing of scenes are incredible. Totally love this movie. I am enjoying seeing Hitchcock's films with new educated eyes. Thank you 

I rather suspect you put this in the wrong place.

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1. The time she spends in the phone booth is how Alice feels, she's there, but in another world of her own, thinking about the murder, nothing around her matters. The same can be said of the scene where they're sitting at the table and the women's conversation becomes muffled, except for the word knife of course, the one thing that cuts through the conversation. It just keeps poking you in the nose, knife, knife, KNIFE.

2. Generally speaking life continues on around Alice as it does in real life, even after horrific events have occurred, life finds a way to go on, but everyone is affected differently, and Alice is out of synch with the rest of the characters, the juxtaposition of sound between Alice and the others is jarring, especially when the knife flies out of Alice's hand, breaking the tension between the pacing of the other characters. It's a reminder that, though we may wander, at some point we come back to reality, sometimes painfully and abruptly, reinforced by the moment he says there's another customer Alice.

3. I guess due to the technological advances in sound, we as movie goers expect to see and hear things differently today. Unless done properly, it may even come across as a mistake in production, what happened to the sound? That and other advances, e.g., CGI has opened up so many doors, sound is just expected to be sound. Thankfully, soundtrack is still a completely different story.

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1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.

What Hitchcock does is use silence at the beginning of the scene where there is no other distinctive sounds besides Alice and the other woman chatting which indicates Alice is in deep thought. As the scene progresses and the woman goes deeper into the murder details Alice minds becomes more unglued and the sound because more distorted which reflects confusion / frustration/nervousness on Alice's part.

 

2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific

 

Visually he shows us Alice nervously picking up the knife why trying to drown out the distorted voice of the woman saying knife . Which gets lower and lower and as Alice goes to cut the bread the knife goes loud shocking alice which sends the knife flying and scares the audience..

 

3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? I think it's not use because it could seriously cause health related issues in movie goers and it some audiences may feel it's to gimmicky.

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The sound is being used here as a great plot device, emphasizing how Alice feels like she's in her own world thinking about the murder. The sound device where the word knife is heard repeatedly shows that's all she can think about, even though everyone else is acting normally. I thought it was a really neat way to use sound, and I'm not sure why it isn't used more. Maybe we use visual effects more, since it's more dramatic, nowadays.

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In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.

 

Hitchcock establishes a cadence within the accent of the woman talking.  Perhaps he used this specific accent (Cockney?)  to punctuate the word knife.  The accent is difficult to understand but the word knife isn't.  It creates an isolation of the word knife.  Also the sound of the doorbell or chime.  Alice is anticipating someone arriving.

 

Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific. 

 

​If you watch Alice's reaction to each mention of the word knife, she seems to tense up more each time.   Hitchcock doesn't cut between the woman talking and Alice as he pans from Alice to the woman back to Alice.  It reinforces the cadence.  A cut in shot would have broken the beginning, until we can focus on Alice's reaction to the word.  If you pay particular attention at the final word knife when Alice reacts to the word by throwing the knife, there is also a chime.  The door as the customer enters?  This layering of both sounds adds to the reaction.  Is Alice reacting just as much to the chime as the word?  The second chime before the end of the video is louder and sustained.

 

Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? 

 

I think it is, but to be effective it needs to be subtle.  The example I can think off the top of my head (probably because I just watched it a few weeks ago) when Michael in the Godfather shoots the two people in the diner.  The elevated train drowns out the conversation so we focus on Michael's eyes.  Almost like he is on a collision course as he crosses over to criminal in that moment.

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1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"?

Entering the scene we have a customer talking about the murder as Alice enters which sets up her state of mind, then the silence of the phone booth followed by re-entering the woman's chattering on more about the murder.

2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience?

The woman's words, specifically about the knife, repeating itself in Alice's mind as she attempts to cut a slice of bread and the doorbell push her over the edge as the knife flies from her hand!

3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema?

I'm not sure why because it's an awesome device if used right and at the right moment!

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In this sequence he puts us in the "mind of Alice" by the lack of other sounds in the room including the speaking of the woman at the counter when Alice closes the door to the phone booth.  When there is something weighing on your mind people tend not to hear or notice what is going on around them.  You can tell from the lack of Alice "hearing" what is going on in the room that there is something on her mind.  Alice tends to hone in on the word "knife" while the woman is standing in the doorway because of what has happened the night previous.  This again outs us in the mind of Alice because we can tell what she is focusing on in her own mind.  She is trying to put it out of her head but it is near impossible with all these "reminders" that keep coming up.  

 

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In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.

 

Hitchcock establishes a cadence within the accent of the woman talking.  Perhaps he used this specific accent (Cockney?)  to punctuate the word knife.  The accent is difficult to understand but the word knife isn't.  It creates an isolation of the word knife.  Also the sound of the doorbell or chime.  Alice is anticipating someone arriving.

 

Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific. 

 

​If you watch Alice's reaction to each mention of the word knife, she seems to tense up more each time.   Hitchcock doesn't cut between the woman talking and Alice as he pans from Alice to the woman back to Alice.  It reinforces the cadence.  A cut in shot would have broken the beginning, until we can focus on Alice's reaction to the word.  If you pay particular attention at the final word knife when Alice reacts to the word by throwing the knife, there is also a chime.  The door as the customer enters?  This layering of both sounds adds to the reaction.  Is Alice reacting just as much to the chime as the word?  The second chime before the end of the video is louder and sustained.

 

Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? 

 

I think it is, but to be effective it needs to be subtle.  The example I can think off the top of my head (probably because I just watched it a few weeks ago) when Michael in the Godfather shoots the two people in the diner.  The elevated train drowns out the conversation so we focus on Michael's eyes.  Almost like he is on a collision course as he crosses over to criminal in that moment.

I like your example of the scene from The Godfather.  I think it takes a good and confident director to use this technique.

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The faster I go, the further behind I get.  Three weeks into this course and I'm only getting to Daily Dose #5.  I'm hoping to get through all this by Monday so I can then start on Week Three.  

 

1.  In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.

 

Hitchcock was very judicious in his use of sound in Blackmail.  FYI - I saw the entire movie before I went to the Lecture Notes and Daily Dose.  We are brought into Alice's state of mind by Hitchcock's manipulation of volume.  She seems somewhat dazed and "out of it" as those around her keep talking about "the murder", and whether or not she's heard the news.  Her monosyllabic responses clue the audience into her fear and anxiety.  That anxiety gets ramped up when she goes into the phone booth, effectively shutting out the noises about "the murder".  We don't need to "hear" the pages of the phone book flipping back and forth to know she's almost panicked at the idea of talking to the police. After she leaves the phone booth, the mundane sounds around her seem amplified. Alice is further unsettled when she's sitting at the breakfast table and the neighbor keeps droning on. Hitchcock places no emphasis on what the woman is saying - we don't even know what it is - but we hear it in Alice's mind as the word "knife" increases in volume until it comes out so loud, she drops the knife.  It even makes the audience jump!  Yet, the other characters only react to the knife being dropped, they don't hear the loudness of the word "knife".  That's how we know it's all in her head.

 

2.  Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific.

 

I've sort of answered this question/discussion point in the first entry.  The scene where the knife flies out of Alice's hand is a masterpiece.  The visual focus begins with the neighbor talking, and we hear what she's saying.  While we still hear her, the camera slowly pans over to Alice.  As the focus moves to Alice's worried face, and then down to the bread knife, the droning gets fainter - except for the word "knife" - which comes out loud and clear.  It's a beautiful combination of sound and sight that Hitchcock makes look easy.  It's pure genius.

 

3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema?   

 

I'm going to make the suggestion that this sound technique is not often used in modern movies, because it takes finesse and craft to make it work properly.  Also, in modern times, it seems the sound just needs to be loud.  There is no subtlety in it's use.  While one person posted, in response to this question, about a scene in The Godfather (which I thought was a great example), I somehow recalled the movie, Deliverance.  This is an excellent movie, visually and aurally.  When the guys start out in the woods, all seems serene with sounds of birds chirping, the wind in the trees, and the river flowing gently.  Later on, even though it's the same woods and river, it begins to sound ominous to Burt Reynolds character.  Like any good thriller, the fear factor gets amped up by the judicious use of natural sounds.

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1.  Hitchcock uses sound design, specifically by breaking with the literal recording of all the sounds that one could possible hear in the scene, to establish more of what the character Alice is thinking and feeling.  For example, for the first two minutes or so of the clip the sound design pretty much records what we see and hear on the screen.  No, it’s not as developed or extensive as films today, but we hear what we see.  However, at the 2:07 mark in the clip, the sound design changes from literal to subjective.  The voice of the friend/customer turns unintelligible with the exception of the word “knife."  Knife becomes a sort of highlighted repeating key word that heightens Alice’s distraught and nervous demeanor.  This style of sound design continues until the 2:29 point of the cut back to the master shot where the sound returns to being literal.

 

Then again, at the 3:19 mark the sound of the dinging bell rises and continues for far longer than one would expect (reminds me the extended final chord in the Beatles song A Day In The Life) until we return to normal sound at the 3:26 point where he father says, “Another customer, Alice.”  In both uses of subjective sound, the shot is a medium close up of Alice wherein she is compositionally isolated from all the other characters in the scene.

 

2.  The shot where the knife flies out of Alice’s hand is set up by having the word knife be uttered as the loudest sound of all the uttered “knifes” and it occurs exactly on the cut back to the master shot.  The jolting combination of loudness and picture change is startling and underscores Alice’s fragile state at this point in the clip.

 

3.  I think the reason that sound design in today’s movies is not as subjective or, let’s call it expressionistic, is because the subjective sound design in Blackmail runs the risk of taking the viewer out of the story.  Most films aim at not breaking the aura of being in a world for the entire length of the film.  Anything from too flashy camera work, too many edits or camera placement resulting in cuts with improper screen direction, sound that can’t be heard, nudity, inappropriate language and even genre breaking plot design run the risk of even subconsciously taking the viewer out of the performance and thus the story.  There can be a fine line between, say, startling the audience and losing the audience.  My guess is most producers will say the star of the film is the lead actor/actress, not the sound design.  Now, having said that, there are sound designers who heighten their sound designs that make the sound even more real than it actually is.  Typically the sound is not out of the realm of reality, just “sweetened.”  Here I’m thinking of the sound designer Skip Lievsay’s work on the Coen Brothers films.

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As the gossiper continues prattling on we start to hear the sound of her voice tone down and out until the key word and sound is her shrill of Knife over and over and as we even get used to it (as its Alice's view that this word is the focus), suddenly the frame changes as Knife is uttered again at a startling level and we are shocked by the way the instrument flies out of her hand visually. This all allows us to experience the subjective mindset of our character Alice.

 

Visually we witness a normal scene of breakfast, customers and familiarity but we are assaulted as we take in the subjective view of Alice and experience her minds ear view of knife repeated and the startled reaction of the bell indicating a new customer. At odds these counterpoints make it easy to feel her tension and sets up the scene to scare us when the knife is dropped.

 

I think there is little of this now used in cinema for a few reasons. It can pull you out of an emersion of the story, there are other techniques to now use to obtain the same effect and at the time sound was so new and experimental it was easier to manipulate the audience in this fashion versus now.

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1. Sound is used to put the audience in the subjective mind of Alice in the "Knife" scene. Alice reacts every time the word knife is uttered by the lady with the basket. Hitch focusses the shot on Alice even though the lady is speaking and we only hear what Alice hears: the muffled sound of the lady's chatter with only the word "knife" being shouted. Every time the word knife is mentioned, Alice looks more perturbed and her eyebrows seem to jump up every time "Knife" is heard. We know from this scene that Alice has a reason to be so jittery.

 

2.Sound design being counterpoint to the visual track. The sound in this scene definitely collaborates with the visual scenes. For example the word knife being uttered at the same time as Alice's face is shown to react to the word; the man asking Alice to cut the bread and Alice fearfully picking up the knife and when trying to cut the loaf, the word knife makes the knife fly out of her hand. Also the customer bell sounds longer than usual and it takes a while for Alice to react as her mind is on the murder and the link with the knife

 

3. Subjective sound is not often used in cinema. Most probably because it focusses too much on one character and makes the scene too subjective and intense and threatening to the the audience.

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1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific. We see how on edge Alice is with her focus on the word KNIFE. Hitchcock uses repetition, volume, and pitch to really drive home the word knife and Alice's building anxiety over that particular word. It is brilliant. I love seeing this early work of Hitchcock's. 


 


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1. Hitch uses sound design to put the viewer into the mind of Alice by using another character's dialogue to show Alice's response. Initially, the woman with the basket's dialogue is specific and audible when she is explaining how she would have used a brick to hit someone over the head, but never a knife. Eventually, her words become an inaudible mumble where only the word "knife" is the only discernible word. 

 

2. Again, only "knife" can be heard in the woman's dialogue, but it is important to note that Hitchcock does not even put the camera on this person as she is speaking, instead giving us the facial reaction (i.e. the jumping eyebrows) of Alice. Eventually, it seems as if the woman speaking yells the word "knife," but it only appears that way because of Alice's mounting nervousness. 

 

3. Not to be a film hipster, but I believe a great deal of "art" is sacrificed in the cash grab of blockbusters and their sequels. As we learned in our lecture notes, Hitchcock was a great at successfully bridging the gap between the commercial and artistic. A great deal of films seem to be framed in a similar fashion as that of television, instead of the subjective manner in this film. 

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Daily Dose #5: Heard About the Murder? 

Scene from Blackmail (1929)

 

1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.  

 

In order to enhance the feelings of guilt from Alice after she murdered the artist, Hitchcock used surrounding sounds to amplify those feelings. As Alice is slowly walking through quick-moving crowds in a daze of shock, car horns enhance the counterpoint between the busy world and her stake of shock. Each of Hitchcock’s car horns are taunting her to snap out of it. Another was when she wakes up in bed the next morning, caged song-birds in her room whistle happily to the extent that they become intrusive, further escalating her frantic mental state.

 

 

2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific. 

 

The sound design of this scene operates in a counterpoint to the visual track when the woman continued to ramble on about the murder and did not stop as she kept repeating the word 'knive'. You could actually see what was going through Alice's mind in this scene as if she was remembering her guilt. Hitchcock's signature scene appeared as he set up this scene by providing a close up shot of Alice's facial expression where it seemed the audience knew what she was about to do. Instead of slicing the bread as she was prompted to do by her father, she took the knife and threw it - an emotional act causing the audience to have a moment of fear.

 

 

3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? 

 

This particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema because technology has provided for many different others ways to get to an audience. Advancement in cinema has promoted sounds in theaters to frighten the audience with other more advanced subjective sound like 3D, IMAX movies etc. and it expresses a change of time. Younger people want more.

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Week 2 The British Sound Years

Daily Dose 5

 

As Alice walks into the front of the shop, the first sound we hear is the muffled sound behind the door-window of the conversation in the shop, not direct sound, as we would hear in most contemporary films — an omniscient sound that allows the audience to be everywhere at once — but the sound representing what Alice would hear.

 

“Remember about the murder,” the gossipy lady, a Hitchcock staple, says, turning her attention to Alice, mid-conversation, but never missing a beat.

 

“Yes,” Alice says, an unremarkable conversational response, but Hitchcock lets us see her emotional reaction to it, by her inflection and the way she turns her head down and toward the camera, to let the viewer in on the emotionally loaded response of a simple ‘yes’.

 

In the phone booth, Alice’s subjective view is reinforced by the zoom-in on the telephone book page, again, a camera shot that recreates how one notices things. The human brain scans a huge assortment of data, and then focuses in on a point of interest. Hitch is always interested in this psychological view of his characters’ mental states, creating impressions of these through his visual and aural strategies. Note the foregrounded telephone in the shot, reminding the viewer to pay attention to sound, and how important it’s going to be now.

 

Coming out of the phone booth, (think Tippi Hedrin in The Birds, and psychological islolation of a female character), Alice comes out of a silence into the middle of a conversation, again, Only this time, there is no gradual transition from muffled sound to room level sound, instead, silence, then full sound, as soon as she opens the door. This is not a realistic depiction of sound, but an artistic recreation of the aloneness of her inner thoughts, then the loud intrusion of the gossipy conversation. The camera puts Alice out of the scene for a moment, a subjective view of Alice shifting her attention from her own thoughts to the question of the friend.

 

The customer prattles on in Monty Pythonesque manner, “A good clean honest whack over the head with a brick is one thing…there’s something British about that.” Knives are so un-British (Jack the Ripper?). Then comes the brilliant use of sound in a muffled conversation, as Alice’s thoughts turn inward, where the sound represents her psychological state. Alice only hears what’s already on her mind, the repetition of the word knife, over and over, the other context lost.

 

The repetition gets louder, and more grating, as part of the build up of suspenseful montage, both aural and visual, until her father says, “Alice, cut the bit of bread, will you?” pulling her out of her reverie for a moment. She continues to hear the word knife, until she suddenly hears it practically screamed out. This is probably not realistic, but an exaggeration of her excited mind that causes her to throw the knife to the floor where it clangs loudly.

 

During this scene, the close-up of her hands holding the knife reveals her emotions in her fingers, as she turns the knife blade back and forth and its reflective surface gleams. Hitchcock uses close-ups of hands in his films to display the expressive and emotional state of a character, and the bridge between thought and action, often foreshadowing the decision to murder, (compare the silent film, The Hands of Orlac).

 

“You oughtta be more careful. You might have cut somebody with that,” says her father, in ironic counterpoint to her own thoughts about cutting somebody.

 

This segment is wrapped in the sound of bells, the bell of the door closing when a customer goes out, the ring of the knife as it strikes the floor, the click of the change on the counter, the finality of the cash register drawer closing as Alice comes to a decision. When her kindly father asks, “What’s the matter Alice? Had another row with Frank?” another customer enters, and the door bell rings in a preternatural crescendo that ends in distortion, like the distorted visuals of piano keys in The Ring, not realistic, but expressionistic, to represent her inflamed state of mind, and maybe a decision made. Alice’s look, and the bell, says that her father has hit the nail on the head.

 

I imagine that this particular use of subjective sound is not common in films today, because of the enormous attention to detail that it requires. To interweave, and counterpoint sound with visuals, as done here, is like a symphony, but far too time-consuming for the demands of most modern cinema, where volume and state of the art technical innovations often take precedence. And perhaps the novelty of the new technology of the time, and freedom to play with it, inspired Hitchcock’s innovation.

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1. Describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? 


 


There is a nonsense conversation (the accent is difficult to understand) until she says the word "knife." The clarity and volume of the word increases until Alice tosses the knife. Also, the chime of the second customer into the shop adds suspense with its clarity and volume, as though Alice is expecting the police to come for her at any moment.


 


2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. 


 


​Alice's tension mounts with each mention of the word "Knife." Hitch focuses on Alice despite the lady leading the conversation. We are clearly in Alice's POV exclusively.


 


3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? 


 


There is value in dialogue across genres to establish POV. Also, directors may feel they are copying Hitchcock, not bringing their own vision to the project.



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1. The word knife is used over and over again with more clarity as we get a sense of what is going on in the mind of Alice. 

 

2. Alice is listening to the lady gossip about the murder that has just happened as she looks forvis the number for her young man in the phone book but comes across the police instead. The insistent and grating repetition of the word Knife until the tension rises to the point when she throws the bread knife and hears the last customer bell thinking that it could be the police at any moment.

 

3. Hitchcock used the sound in this picture to focus the viewer on Alice's frame of mind. It takes alot of focus and setup to use this technique well which Hitchcock does. In today's cinema there is much more of a focus on the visual so this technique would be both time consuming to small in scope to make as much of an impact with audiences.

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1. The most obvious technique he uses is juxtaposing the young woman, staring off into space, deeply troubled, with the babbling of the woman, the succession of customers coming through the door, the commands of the father. 

 

He sets the specific sequence up by having her enter the very quiet phone booth, revealing her internal obsession with the crime and setting it apart from the noise of her everyday world. Upon leaving the booth, the noise grows louder, the woman's babble intensifies to the point of gibberish, and finally closes in on her, breaking through with the repeated use of the word "knife".

 

2.The sound is chaos, the world spinning around the girl. She enters the phone booth, which focuses us on her internal "conversation" - call the police? No, don't do that. 

 

As she leaves the phone booth, she remains substantially removed from her surroundings. She barely moves. Doesn't interact with those surroundings. The noise and activity level increases, but she becomes more and more immobilized. It's not until she grabs the knife to cut the bread and the woman in the doorway becomes incomprehensible with the exception of the word "knife" repeated over and over that the visuals and the sound come together and her inner turmoil is physically expressed.

 

3. Why is it that some people like Hitchcock are so successful, so groundbreaking and others not? It's about a vision and a commitment to make that vision a reality. I think that Hollywood (i.e. the film industry) is like most fields. There are those that stand out, but for the most part, most people are looking for the easiest path to some objective. They lack creativity, and it shows.

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1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.  


 


As the customer babbles on about the knife all her words become gibberish except for the word "knife," which keeps getting louder in Alice's mind. The customer is practically screaming it, which freaks Alice out and she throws the knife.


 


2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific. 


 


As the scene at the table progresses, Hitchcock starts with a wide shot and then pulls the camera in closer so that we only see Alice, but we hear the customer babbling on. The customer's babbling is broken up when when Alice's father asks her to cut the bread and we see the camera pan down to the knife. Hitchcock builds the tension by showing Alice nervously handling the knife while all we hear is "knife" until that final loud shout that scares Alice into throwing the knife and makes the audience jump in their seat.   


 


3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? 


 


It would get old fast and would lose its shock value.


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The voice of the woman in the store is so annoying that get into our nerves as it mostly works as a reminder of the murder. The girl knows something, other she is the witness of the crime sceme and she knows or she is the actual murderer! Surpise fact:how well Hitchcock combined the two: the voice of the woman with the thrilling effect of suspence! the sound works-adds to the mystery! Excellent! This must be a brilliant film!

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1.) The woman who chatters a lot says the word "knife" with a rhetoric effect. This in turn startles Alice who after hearing a shout throws the knife away.The effect of repeating same words or phrases are usually said by orators who does speeches for the public.

 

2.) The scene of the "flying knife" is shot by focusing the camera mostly on Alice. Here, we could see her face expressions which shows that she is dazed and not aware of the chatterbox who is gossiping about a recent murder. Even the shop bell which rang had the similar sound of knife.

 

3.) With the advent of modern technology, over-the-top visual graphics and amazing audio effects, I think people nowadays will not be astonished to experience the effect of a knife. But, those who enjoy watching classic movies all the time could acknowledge this scene as one of the best ever shot sequence by Hitchcock.

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https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/british-sound-years-part-1-hitch-on-the-rise?module_item_id=194570

 

 

1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you into the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.  

The sound goes off normally with the female customer in Alice’s family’s shop talking. Once Alice enters, she, her father, the customer all exchange dialogue normally.

 

Once Alice enters the phonebooth, there is silence. She takes the phonebook and looks through it until she finds the section for the police.

 

The customer keeps babbling the details of the murder. Once, she starts talking about the difficulties of handling a knife, the structure of the sound changes.

 

The details of the dialogued are drowned out and only “knife” is clearly heard over and over again. The only other sentence clearly heard is Alice’s father asking her, “Alice, cut us a bit of bread, will you?”; another direct reference to the knife.  

 

 

2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific. 

When Alice is in the phonebooth, there is total silence, so that audience can concentrate fully on the nervous range of emotions Alice shows on her face, as well as, the jittering of her head as she skimming through the phone book. The camera zooms in when she finds the section for the police. Alice looks up and shudders. She lets go of the phonebook and walks out of the booth, dejected.

 

Once Alice grips the knife, rather than only “knife,” audible dialogue is extended to “mustn’t use a knife.” It is said once as Alice holds the knife and twirls it around. Alice prepares to slice the bread when the word “KNIFE!” becomes heavily emphasized in the audio track.

 

 

3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema? 

I suppose it can be rather distracting. Personally, when I hear he woman saying “knife” over and over again in that screeching voice, I laugh.   

 

I do recall many instances in film and television where sound design was used in a similar junction as in this scene. But, rather than only certain words being emphasized, usually all the dialogue is drowned as a way to aurally show the turmoil of the focused character. 

 

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1. In this sequence, describe how Hitchcock uses sound design to put you in the subjective "mind of Alice"? Be specific.

 

Hitchcock puts the viewer in the mind of Alice when she is in the telephone booth - we can no longer hear the conversation happening outside of it. Also when the lady is talking about the murder when the family is at the breakfast table - the audience is let into Alice's mind which is only focusing on the word "knife" and hearing that instead of everything else that is being said.

 

2. Describe the different ways that the sound design of this scene operates in counterpoint to the visual track. For example, how does Hitchcock set up the shot where the knife flies out of Alice's hand so that it registers a shock in his audience? Pay attention to both what is happening visually and aurally. Be specific.

 

Hitchcock sets that up as shocking when he zooms in on Alice's face and her emotions instead of showing her surroundings. The repetition of the word knife - the only thing she is focusing on in that conversation - also causes the viewer to forget about what else is going on in that scene, and that there is even a knife near her. Therefore, when Hitchcock then suddenly cuts to the knife flying out of her hand, it takes the viewer by surprise.

 

3. Why do you think this particular use of subjective sound is not used frequently in cinema?

 

I think this use of subjective sound is not frequently used because of how far we've come in terms of technology. Filmmakers no longer have to rely on sound as much to create suspense, so it is now done more visually.

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